Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Generator finally works! Boondocking rainbow photo :)

WELCOME to our new Follower, Mello Mike!  First of all, Mike, thank you for your service to our Country, we appreciate your 24 years of service in the U.S. Navy. It's because of people like you that we are all safe and free and able to enjoy our travels in our RVs.  Mike is very involved in RV activities, restores Airstream travel trailers, and he has many other interests. Check out his blog which has links to his other two blogs.  He also has a lot of information about boondocking in the tabs at the top of his posts.  Thanks for joining Me and My Dog, Mike, we are very happy to have you along on our adventures!  :)

Some other new Followers just showed up at the end of the list, again. Welcome to scott brawner, gerry47_, Woofs n Paws, and Elaine and Rick Cochrane.  I'm sorry if you've been a follower for a while and I missed you - that just happens sometimes. These four followers don't show any photos or information, so I can't add anything else, but Katie and I appreciate you all following along with us - Welcome aboard!

It never seems like much is happening until I wait a few days to post and see all the photos I've saved to my "blog" folder.  Then I have to write a longer post around all the photos. Sorry about that - I just can't seem to write a short post.

I have to show you this photo first - it exemplifies what boondocking means to me.

The Palms and The Rainbow
Boondocking - this photo just about says it all - beautiful.

(I have to admit I did a really poor job of cutting and pasting out the rigs nearby - don't click on this photo unless you want to see the bad editing.  I don't usually do this, but I wanted to be alone in the desert.)

Next some Katie photos.  The first one is poor Katie, not getting enough attention from me (how in the world does that happen when we're together all day?), so she jumped up next to me, and laid her head down on my sweatshirt hood and fell asleep.  Talk about making me feel bad! :(

 Poor unloved Katie.

Katie likes to play ball with a small tennis ball, but she doesn't usually play with her toys.  Yesterday she was acting playful so I took out her squeaky toy, and she played with it for a while, tossing it in the air, chewing on it, etc.

 Katie and her squeaky toy.

This is a pose I see a lot - when I'm talking to her she cocks her head and looks right at me like she's trying to understand.

What?  Oh, okay, I get it.

My generator has been giving me problems, and finally I went in to have it repaired.  It was turning on right away and sounded fine, but it wasn't doing anything - no battery charging, no electrical outlet function.  I had an appointment with an RV place here in Quartzsite, but they didn't want to talk to me, just make an appointment, so I did.

Then yesterday I went in to make sure I had the breaker on the generator facing the right way. Honestly, it was hard to get anyone to just look at it and answer that one question.  Finally the guy behind the service counter went out and looked.  He knew I had an appointment this morning for "service," but no one asked me what I needed to have done.  He quoted me around $200, I'm not sure exactly what that covered, and when he saw the generator, he said, Oh Yea, this is going to cost you at least $300.  We'll have to take the generator out to work on it. I didn't like that, especially when they didn't know what was wrong with it.  He couldn't tell me what they would charge me to change the oil and filter in the generator, either, which I thought was strange.  All I wanted was a ballpark number.

My generator

So I cancelled that appointment and called another place that was recommended, and went in this morning to Bob's Generators.  He works out of this business, Quality RV which is right in town.

Qualilty RV, Quartzsite, AZ

Here's Bob, diagnosing the problem

Here's Bob, fixing the problem.

Bob's Generator
Bob Dummer
(888) 426-2743

Bob looked at it, diagnosed a bad automatic transfer switch, changed it out (without taking out the generator!), changed my oil and filter, and I was on my way, everything working just fine. Thank goodness! And thank you, Bob!

My new Switch

This is the same switch that Ron at the solar place installed for the solar transfer switch, and I know he uses good materials, so I was happy to see that Bob used the same one.

I shouldn't have needed a new filter, but I kept adding oil, and it was draining over into the filter, which was dripping. I was totally overfilling it.  Not good.  So he changed that out, too, and explained to me exactly when and how and how much oil to add.

I asked him about all the maintenance targets that are in my Owner's Manual, and he had good answers for all of the hours/dates listed.  He said changing the oil and spark plugs on schedule are the only ones I need to worry about. With  my generator, some of the scheduled maintenance issues in the manual aren't necessary or applicable, so I should be good for a while.  I highly recommend Bob - he knew right away what was needed, had the new part available, knew all about my generator and how it worked, understood how the transfer switch worked and changed it out with no problem.  He was very nice to work with.

He also said 95 percent of RV owners never read their maintenance schedules in the Owners Manual, so I was an unusual customer asking his opinion and double checking on when I should have maintenance done.  I'll bet all of you read your manuals, right?  My son used to say I was a "nightmare customer," because I read everything, ask questions, want to see how things are done, etc.

Yesterday and today I also went to a local LED light business, which I also highly recommend.

RV Special Things
Len & Chris Bunts
(800) 524-8892
Cell:  (480) 220-3688

His prices were lower than the on-line lights I ordered (and unfortunately couldn't cancel in time to stop the shipment). Nice man, knows his business, and now I have pretty much all LEDs in The Palms.  The 4 that I ordered on line will complete my "warm white" lighting, which is FAR nicer and brighter than the cooler, smaller LEDs I got at first. I was glad I only got four of those, I'll keep them as spares.

When we got back to our site, after having our door open while Bob was doing his work for a couple of hours, The Palms was so cold, Katie must have been feeling the chill.  As soon as I got everything set up, I turned on the catalytic heater, and this is the first time she sat in front of it to get warm.  She has her little sweater on, too.

Mom, this is wonderful!

And finally, some nature shots:

It rained yesterday (and today). I drove into Blythe yesterday to check K-Mart for a printer cable, and when I got back it was raining and I saw smoke coming from the fire pit. I walked over to see if the Dingbats had been enjoying a fire in the rain (which is how they got the name "Dingbats") and there were chairs overturned and no people.  The fire was still smoking.  

 Smoking fire - I think they ran when the rain started pouring down!  :)

Last night's moon was beautiful  when it first came up.
Those are the ends of branches along the bottom.

The moon as it was rising  higher, with a few small clouds.

And that's it for today.  It's always such a relief when everything is working well in The Palms, and now my generator is supplying all the power I need to my batteries and outlets, my printer is finally working again with the new USB cord, and The Palms is nice and bright with LED lights, the warm white ones that make everything feel warmer and brighter.  Life is good again!

It's pouring outside right now - from Me and My Dog, have a great Tuesday evening, everyone!  :)


  1. Love the idea of photoshopping the other campers out of your picture. I think you did a pretty job. So glad you found just the right person to fix your generator.

  2. Could you send your generator fixer to Indiana? Loved your post today!

  3. Great rainbow photo, Barbara. When you and Katie are inside The Palms, you feel like you're alone in the desert, so why not edit out things that you don't need to see. Glad everything is working so well for you, now. You are really having a ball there, I can tell. Katie is so cute with her toy, and the picture of her in front of the heater is great. Give her a big smooch from us, and tell her we love her, too, so she won't be so "lonely". Stay warm and dry.

  4. Great rainbow picture.
    Its so nice to find an honest repair guy and then to find some one in an RV store that is willing to teach you about things and find the prices affordable.
    Been raining here as well and now its cold again.
    Love Katies sweater.

  5. glad to hear that all is well with the generator!!..nice to have an honest repair guy that comes to you!!...stay warm!..Katie looks like she does understand when you talk to her!..so smart!!

  6. Oh, As soon as I started reading about the generator I thought "TRANSFER SWITCH". I had the same problem shortly after I bought my new rig..


    And I was in 100++ degrees of heat with no A/C.

    Wasn't that rainbow yesterday something else !

  7. Nice picture of the rainbow...who says the desert isn't pretty :)

  8. Loved the rainbow picture...photoshopped or not! I'm glad you found a good repair man. The other one sounded a little sketchy.

  9. Hm, the only rainbow picture I recall having taken was at the drag races in Grand Bend (Ontario, Canada) a few years back. I suppose that doesn't count.
    Almost fell for the photo shopping ruse. Pays to pay attention along the way. This is where "sarcasm font" would be handy.

  10. so glad to see you got the generator fixed..that will make your life easier..thanks for the welcome...we also have an rv blog...e-rstravels.blogspot.com
    have a super fine day...

  11. One of my greatest joys is when everything in the rig is working perfectly. Doesn't seem to happen often enough! :)

  12. Nice to see you found an honest repair man for the generator. It definitely is smart to ask a lot of questions before proceeding with anything. To many businesses just looking for the quick buck. Katie is so cute in the pictures. Have a great day.

  13. I concur w/ everyone else, fantastic rainbow pic. It's good that you read and ask questions, its called an informed consumer. I have a tendency to believe most people are basically honest, but doing your homework helps detect the few that arent.
    Good job;, hate the ones that try to take advantage because you are female.

  14. Glad you got everything in working condition. You're going to be the resident expert one of these days!

    Don't ever tell me not to click something. LOL You did a great job of making yourself alone in the desert.

    Love, love, love little Katie.

  15. what beautiful photos!! That really does show how wonderful boondocking can be. (And it's always nice when the generator works- even though we don't have one I can certainly appreciate how frustrating it can be to have things not work correctly!)

    P.S. Love the photo of Katie in her sweater. precious!!

  16. Great photos as always. The one of Katie in front of the heater is precious. Glad you got your generator squared away.


  17. Hi, I wanted to comment on your latest blog about your problems with electricity. I have been trying to decide if I want to add solar, and have been reading a book about RV electrical systems, a lot of the book is very technical and too confusing to me. I'm just wondering if your microwave draws to much on the 12 volt system, which I think is different than if you were plugged in at an RV park. Too much to learn. And my refrigerator is electric only, so I would have to get a new refrigerator before I decide to add solar. I hope everything is ok since that post is gone now, maybe you are just updating the post.

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  19. Are "Dingbats" people or animals?


Thank you for your comments - we LOVE them!